PRACTICAL RELIGION

Our world's major religions seem to have all been started by incredibly great guys who have primarily one name: men like Buddha, Confucius, Mohammed, Lao-Tzu (it's almost two names), Jesus (I think Christ is more of a title than a last name for him) and Zoroaster. We seem to like two names, so we add Christ or Of Nazareth, and The Buddha, and Muhammed the Prophet to flesh out their names a little and make them more poetic. I have always admired whatever these men said and did, their wisdom has always been inspirational to me. But I can never shake the scenarios in my mind when I try to picture these great men dealing with some of the totally aggravating things I have to deal with in my daily life. I mean, anybody can be at peace with the universe on top of a mountain or in a beautiful mosque or religious retreat, but the real tests are the tests of daily life.

For example, what would Mohammed the Prophet do if he was heading for a parking space at K-Mart, and somebody with Massachusetts plates cut him off and zoomed in ahead of him? That's easy. He would smile and find another parking place. Now what if it was pouring down rain in March and the parking space was right next to the store entrance and there were no other spaces for 100 yards? Hmmm. I guess he would just smile and find another parking place and get wet while still smiling. Now what would Jesus of Nazareth do if he came out of Sears after shopping and found that some dingbat had taken a big scrape out of the side of his new car? You would at first wonder if he would have a car. But you have to have a car in today's society, and a carpenter like Jesus would probably have a pickup truck with a tool chest on the back. I guess he would just smile lovingly at the dent in his side panel and say "Oh well," or "It was God's will" or something even more poetic. But what if some skinheads or crack dealers broke into his tool box and stole his tools? I don't know if the Son of God has some sort of special credit card or trust fund where he can just absorb losses like that, but the carpenters I know have a lot of money tied up in their tools, and can't just lovingly shrug it off. They swear. And if they find out who did it, they kick ass. Presumably Jesus would like music enough to have a tape deck in his pickup truck, and would he smile lovingly if he went to watch a Sox game and came back to find his window smashed, his Blaupunkt ripped off, and his favorite tapes gone? It's a lot of work making a 90-minute tape of your favorite songs. The thought that those creeps will put tape over the erase tabs and re-record Megadeth over top of your classical music burns, too. I guess Jesus, being Jesus, would just shrug that off, too.

Presumably guys like these religious founders could take things in stride like being put on hold for 30 minutes by the phone company, long traffic lights, waiting in line at the toll booth while some bimbo with an Executive motor home towing a Jeep Cherokee asks for directions, mistakes in computer billing, junk phone calls, 7 AM jack hammers and lawn mowers, construction on the highways when you are late, car trouble, and all the stuff that drives me nuts. I'd like to ride around with one of them and watch them deal with it all patiently and lovingly.

And you never hear anything about Mrs. Buddha or Mrs. Christ either. I have always wondered if these guys were married or what. If they never even had a girl friend, how can they know all about what we go through, or offer us wisdom? There doesn't seem to be any mention of wives or girl friends in any of the religious books. You would think that at least if they were married, their wives would be helping them write scrolls or something and making coffee for them while they pondered. Presumably these totally loving guys would have given their wives or secretaries a footnote or included them lovingly in a parable somewhere to thank them. How would Confucius deal with his wife's menstrual cycles and PMS? Would he try to stay around and be wise and loving, or would he have the wisdom to go play golf during her tough days? Suppose Jesus had an attractive young female disciple (it would probably not be legal to exclude women from the Disciples Club today) who made his wife jealous? The search for wisdom isn't 9 to 5, and there must have been some "And where have you been?" conversations, answered with "Working late with my disciples," followed by some rolled eyes.

And what would an enlightened religious leader do if he lived in a house with some roommates, had the phone listed in his name, and when bill time came there were a bunch of long distance calls on it that nobody owned up to? Would he just lovingly pay the bill? And what would he do with a roommate who never cleaned the toilet and who always left dirty dishes in the sink and who never took the trash out? Would he lovingly do all those things, realizing that the tension and possible anger in him would be far more trouble than the simple act of doing them himself. Or would he take the offender aside and tell parables, to teach them to act more considerately? Harmony at home is tough when a roommate actually does not even see the dirt on the carpet and so can hardly be chastised for not cleaning it up. Is tolerance for dirty rugs possibly a virtue? How often would Jesus insist on cleaning the toilet? What if his in-laws stayed 3 extra days and their bratty kids cleaned out the icebox and broke his oil lamp? I wish I knew the answers to these questions, and maybe someday I'll pick a religious leader up hitchhiking who will have them.

© 1987 by Harvey Reid

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This web site concerns the music and life of acoustic musician & music educator Harvey Reid.

If you don't find what you want, or if you have comments or questions, please email to

WOODPECKER MULTIMEDIA
PO Box 815 York Maine 03909  USA
phone (207) 363-1886


About Harvey Reid Concert Schedule Catalog of Recordings
Lyrics Newest Recording Booking Information
Buy From Us Reviews Interviews
Say Hello to Us Newsletter Hot News
Harvey's Gear The Song Train About the Partial Capo
Articles & Essays Out of Print Music Books
Downloads Publicity Info Favorite CD's
What's Here Publicity Photos Guitar Tunings
About Joyce Andersen Lyrics History
Listen to Audio Say Hello to Us Listen to Audio
Lyrics Lyrics Listen to Audio

Harvey Reid Concert Schedule |Harvey's Blog | About the Liberty Guitar Method|Catalog of CD's and Tapes|Discography|About this Web Site & What's New Here | Hot News | Woodpecker Home Page | About Harvey Reid |The Song Train | Video | Audio | About Joyce Andersen | Books by Harvey Reid | Say hello to us... | Concert & Record Reviews | Interviews with HR | Lyrics to Harvey Reid Songs | Harvey Reid Annual Newsletters | HR's Guitar Tunings | About the Partial Capo | Articles & Essays by HR | HR's Gear | HR's Favorite CD's | HR's Career History | Booking Info | Publicity Info & Download Files |


This web site concerns the music and life of acoustic musician & music educator Harvey Reid.

If you don't find what you want, or if you have comments or questions, please email to